A Lover’s Quarrel: A Colony of Heaven

Garrett’s twelfth and final wish for the Churches of Christ is —

Let us be a colony of heaven — Cross-shaped, grace-oriented, Spirit-filled.

There’s too much to say on this, so I’ll just quote Garrett —

My favorite image of the church is that of “We are a colony of heaven,” as one modern version renders Philippians 3:20. Other versions read, “Our citizenship is in heaven.” The apostle Paul may have been drawing an analogy between the city of Philippi, which, as a Roman colony, was to reflect the glory of Rome, its capital, and the community of believers as an outpost of heaven. As Philippi was a colony of Rome, the church was to be a colony of heaven, reflecting its goodness and beauty.

That sums up what I see as the ongoing reformation of the church. We are always in the crucible of becoming more like Christ. The ultimate destiny of the church is Christlikeness, both in this world and the next. As a colony of heaven we await our Lord’s coming, who at that time will transform our bodies into the body of his glory. We, therefore, will eventually be like him in body as well as in spirit.

That makes us Cross-shaped, a people crucified with Christ and crucified to the world. It means we are grace-minded and grace-oriented, a people who are what we are — a redeemed community — only by the grace of God. As a Spirit-filled people we bear the fruit of Christlikeness — his love, longsuffering, forgiveness.

This is what I want for my people in Churches of Christ: to be a people who bear witness to the Cross by being themselves a cruciform church; to be a people saved and sustained by God’s grace; and to be a people not drunk on the wine of self-importance, but filled with the Holy Spirit.

About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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2 Responses to A Lover’s Quarrel: A Colony of Heaven

  1. Zach Cox says:

    It's nice to see someone pick up on the anti-imperial low blow in Phil. 3. That of course wouldn't be the only time Paul covertly (and overtly) criticized the grandiose claims of Caesar.


    P.S. Just discovered your site recently and have thoroughly enjoyed it. Keep up the good work.

  2. nick gill says:

    "Not drunk on the wine of self-importance"

    Wow! That is REALLY incisive.

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